hello there, welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, june 20th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama has used the symbol of the cold war to talk about moving beyond the tensions of that era. he stood at the brandenburg gate, which once overlooked the berlin wall. he called on russian leaders to renew a push for world without nuclear weapons. >> after a comprehensive review, i've determined that we can ensure the security of america and our allies and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third,
and i intend to seek negotiated cuts with russia to move beyond cold war nuclear postures. >> obama's predecessors john f. kennedy and ronald reagan both delivered speeches from the brandenburg gate. obama urged emergence of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty between the u.s. and russia went into effect in 2011. the two countries agreed to reduce their nuclear warheads to 1,550 by 2018. obama said his government also intends to sharply reduce the number of its shorter-ranged nuclear weapons deployed in europe. the treaty excludes those so-called tactical nuclear weapons. he called on russian leaders and nato allies to work with him. officials in moscow said u.s. leaders must first follow through on the promises they made in the treaty. they say u.s. commanders are already building up their missile defense systems. they suggest the americans need to make some concessions of their own. the mayor the of hiroshima and nagasaki lead a worldwide
organization whose members are dedicated to eliminating nuclear welcome obama's position. nagasaki mayor says he hopes the proposals create momentum for the abolition of nuclear arms. a senior north korean official says his country is prepared to resume the long-stalled six-party talks. they broke down in 2008. first vice foreign minister kim guy ga kye gwan says he welcomes any kind of dialogue to the north's nuclear issue. kim said north korea's founder ki kill il-sung enformer leader kim jong-il wanted a nuclear free peninsula leaders in pyongyang showed little sign of going
through. the other six party members demand those plans as a condition to resume talks. protesters continue to flood the streets of cities in brazil. they say the money that's being spent preparing for next year's world cup soccer tournament and the 2016 olympics could be put to better use. nhk world's aiko sasa reports from sao paolo. ♪ >> reporter: thousands of protesters gathered in brazil's largest city sao paulo. they are angry at high taxes and the low quality of public services. and they are losing patience with the corruption and the inefficiency of the government and ruling party. the demonstrations were triggered by a hike in public transport fares. brazil has enjoyed a period of
steady economic growth, but the recent devaluation of his currency has driven up the cost of living. the rise in food prices has been especially steep. in the last year, the price of tomatoes has doubled. potatoes are even more expensive. >> translator: i used to be able to buy much more with the same amount of money. >> reporter: the huge cost of hosting the world cup and the olympics has upset brazilians. many people are now demanding the money be spent instead to improve lives and welfare. >> translator: it's not right that the government spends so much on the world cup but not on health care and education.
>> reporter: president dilma rousseff has expressed some understanding for the protesters. local authorities in several cities have now agreed to reduce the price for public transport. but now that the people have raised their voices, they may not be so easily silenced. ayako sas, nhk world, sao ppaol. nhk world's hideki yui in kabul reports on the difficult road ahead. >> reporter: the taliban on tuesday announced the opening of
an office in dough haar, the capital of qatar. the new communication channel will enable negotiations to seek a peaceful solution to long running violence in afghanistan. the taliban has repeatedly demanded the united states release five of its senior members detained at guantanamo bay. their status will likely be the early focus of the negotiations. taliban leaders are also hoping that talks with the united states will give them credibility as an organization. even so, the taliban has claimed responsibility for attack on tuesday at pa bagram airbase outside kabul which killed four u.s. soldiers. the attack happened just hours after the announcement of peace talks. the taliban said it will use both force and dialogue which observers say is a tactic to pressure the u.s. >> the islamic community of fold
political options and aid which are admitted to afghanistan. >> reporter: the key point for the united states is whether the taliban agrees to break ties with al qaeda in a verifiable way. president obama says u.s. military strategy will continue alongside the negotiations. >> we're going to continue to support these efforts in partnership with the afghan government. i want to repeat, we don't anticipate this process will be easy or quick, but we must pursue it in parallel with our military approach. >> reporter: the u.s. and taliban have conducted unofficial negotiations behind closed doors before. for now, terror and violence continues in afghanistan. whether peace talks will be able to move the country towards stability remains to be seen. hideki yui, nhk world, kabul.
>> the proposed peace talks received a cold reception from afghan president hamid karzai on wednesday. he released a statement condemning the united states, saying its words don't match its actions. karzai said he would suspend negotiations with washington on keeping u.s. troops in afghanistan beyond the end of next year. the president didn't give a more detailed explanation of his position. however, a source at his office told nhk that the u.s. was leading the peace talks, despite promising to support the karzai administration in its own peacekeeping efforts. peacemaking efforts. the friction raises doubts about the viability of the negotiations before they even begin. get news on south and
southeast asia every day live from bangkok only on nhk world "newsline." policymakers with the u.s. federal reserve are noticing changes in the economy so they're planning some changes for themselves. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. what do they see? >> they've seen the housing market improve, consumer confidence, household spending. in fact when the chairman of the u.s. federal reserve looks to the future, ben bernanke likes what he sees ahead for the economy. the central bank has pumped billions into financial markets over the last several years, but bernanke says later this year the fed could begin slowing the pace of stimulus. federal reserve policymakers released a statement after meeting for two days. they decided to continue buying government bonds at the current rate of $85 per month. but bernanke says they could change their tactics as the labor market changes. >> and if the subsequent data remain broadly aligned with our current expectations for the
economy, we would continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year ending purchases around midyear. >> bernanke said the jobless rate should be down to around 7% from the current 7.6% by the time bond purchases are halted. he also said policymakers would proceed more slowly. he said they would keep short-term interest rates near zero for the time being. bernanke hinted at a possible scaling down last month. his remark created wild times in the market. an economist said what he expected. >> translator: i predict that the fed will start tapering the current quantitative easing measures or qe 3 in september
and stop them completely in june next year. >> ama mia said equity markets will shift from liquidity driven to an emphasis on corporate performance. he pointed the fed's economic outlook is more bullish than that of most prices. u.s. stock dow jones fell 1.3% to end the day at 15,112. to see how all of this will affect stocks here in japan we go to ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. ramin, now that market players seem to be clearer about the fed's stance, how are tokyo markets reacting? >> we're going to see the reaction, let's bring up the nikkei and the topix for this morning, ai, a lot of focus of course on that fed meeting and both indexes there following what we saw in the u.s. as well, so they're in the negative, down 1% for the nikkei and down 0.8% for the topix. now tokyo stocks actually continue to rebound on wednesday
with this second triple-digit gains of this week while hitting a one-week high but we're seeing a little bit of a reversal now we're in the negative. we'll see how it pans out today. investors really came in to buy some of the shares that had been heavily sold off in previous sessions and ai, the key issue here is markets are always looking forward but economic data is always lagging and even the fed says that it needs to look at upcoming data, even if it has put a positive tone on the u.s. economy in its latest statement. so hence we're seeing the markets really fluctuate and some volatility and we're seeing these ups and downs right now. major point of interest also for global economic markets is the point of abenomics and a lot of market players are hoping that policies that were set in motion by prime minister shinzo abe as well as the bank of japan actually pan out or play out through the markets. there's a lot of hopes being pinned on that as well. now, specifically shares that i'm going to follow today, i want to focus on softbank and it
rose 4% yesterday on news that one of its major rivals in softbank's bid for u.s. telecommunications firm sprint nextel has basically pulled out of the running so we'll continue to watch softbank shares today to see if that continues. >> the dollar gained quite a bit after the fed statement and bernanke's speech. where do we stand right now in tokyo? >> very good point about currencies. the dollar/yen is a big focus and with the dollar surging after the more optimistic stance on the economy by the fed it hit its highest level since june 12th and gained against other currencies. currently 96.47-51 and with the dollar having gained there's pretty good reason for exporters to come in for further buying as bargain hunting continues. let's look at the euro/yen as well, extending gains, 128.19-29 after positive data on business
sentiment in germany so far this week. we'll continue to monitor exporters, banks, real estate firms and heavy industry stocks throughout today to see how they perform as well but we're in the negative for the nikkei and the topix. back to you, ai. >> ramin, thank you for that update. lm republic ramin mellegard from the tokyo stock exchange. south korea and australia markets are also open. take a look.
a meeting of japanese and russian officials over a group of disputed islands off northern japan has sparked anger in russia. police in moscow detained four extremists after they forced their way to the japanese embassy. they were protesting negotiations between japanese and russian officials over four russian-held islands off hokkaido. japan claims the islands and calls them the northern territories. the protesters ignored police orders to stop their protest. they forced their way into the embassy after throwing smoke bombs. police detained them for disturbing the peace. this is the first time extremists have protested in front of the japanese embassy in moscow.
russia's internal affairs ministry says it will investigate. the operators of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant have apologized for failing to promptly announce the contamination of a well near the facility with highly radioactive strontium and tritium. they say they'll increase checks of groundwater around the plant. tokyo electric power company workers detected the substances in an observation well on the coastal side of the number two reactor building. but officials say they found no major changes in radiation levels in the sea water. tepco says it will set up more monitoring posts and observation wells. workers will check a nearby tunnel for clues about the contamination. officials added they will reinforce nearby embankments to prevent the ground water from reaching the sea. tepco officials say the cause of the problem may be waste water that leaked into the sea in april 2011 ar
number two reactor building. they say highly radioactive materials might have seeped into the well. the company has again drawn criticism for being slow to reveal environmental contamination. the timeline of the incident shows workers tested the ground water in the area on may 24th. one week later, plant officials knew tritium levels were higher than the government-set level, but they did not share the data with tepco executives for another 11 days. it then took another week for tepco to let the public know. officials apologized for the delay. they said they were waiting for the strontium test results. people in some countries saw the aftermath of what happened in fukushima and decided the risks of nuclear power were too great. the germans and swiss plan to phase out atomic energy, but some governments in eastern europe are heading in the other direction. they want to build nuclear plants to reduce their energy dependence on russia. nhk world's ivo tuho reports.
>> reporter: poland has yet to build its first nuclear reactor. the government froze all projects to build a nuclear plant after the chernobyl accident in 1986. the country's large labor force and proximity to large consumer markets like germany, has attracted vigorous foreign investment. despite the deepening credit crisis and recession in europe, poland has managed to maintain growth. but economic development has raised the issue of a stable energy supply to secure independence from russia. authorities are looking to nuclear power as an alternative to coal. they are aiming to start building two reactors by 2020. >> we think that the nuclear option as a base load capacity will be very important element of diversification of our energy needs, creating a new basis for energy security for the system.
>> reporter: the two projects have attracted the attention of nations eager to export nuclear infrastructure. japanese prime minister shinzo abe promoted his country's technology during a visit to war saw on sunday. but opposition is increasing in areas designated as candidate sites. i'm in the village closest to the possible location for the nuclear plant. many people are sharing that they are opposing the government plans, with banners. tadeo pastushak managing hotel, an area famous for its summer resorts. every year they did well, until the government announced its intention to build a nuclear reactor just five kilometers away. >> here i have for july and august.
i have a little. you see? canceled. canceled. >> reporter: after the chernobyl accident, a strong mistrust of nuclear power remains among the public. people in the tourism industry complain that even the plan of building a nuclear power plant has damaged the image of this scenic resort. his income is down to 50% of what it used to be. >> translator: when i asked tourists if they will come again after the nuclear plant is built, everyone answers, of course not. it's simple. the project should go away and leave this place alone. >> reporter: nation polls suggest polish people are split in half over the construction of nuclear plants. >> why not? it's cheaper. maybe better. i'm not sure. but it's definitely cheaper. that's what they heard. >> translator: nuclear plants also present many risks.
two good examples are what happened in chernobyl and more recently in japan. >> reporter: the neighboring czech republic, on the other hand, already has six reactors. the government is planning to build two more. u.s. company westinghouse, controlled by japan's toshiba and russia's state-owned rosatome are competing to build these new units. but in may, concerns expressed by czech finance minister miroslav kalousek poured cold water on the project. >> translator: in economic terms, the completion is extremely risky in the current situation. this is a simple fact. >> reporter: the estimated cost of building the two reactors is around $10 billion. there is no telling whether the initial investment will be recovered now that power charges are trending down. shale gas and other alternative sources of energy are expected
to become more widely available. east european nations are divided over the need to build additional nuclear plants. the future of these projects will depend on the authority's ability to provide clear answers to the question of whether nuclear power is safe, both for people and as an investment. ivo tuchel, nhk world, warsaw. thousands of residents are still waiting to go home. vast tracts of land are still waiting to be restored. and more than half of the fishing ports on the pacific coast must be rebuilt. people in northeastern japan still face challenges following the 2011 disaster. but step by step, they're moving forward. see their stories every wednesday on "the road ahead" right here on "newsline." time now for a check on world weather. people in western japan are dealing with record-breaking
amounts of rainfall. meteorologist sayaka mori tells us about the bad weather. >> yes, catherine, very heavy rain has been battering much of japan due to a seasonal frontal system. some areas have had record amounts of rain. to show you the situation, i want to show you this video. the rain was much needed, but now it has become a hazard. flooding has left several houses in itchkawa and coia ma prefectures inundated. in yamaguchi prefecture, some 300 millimeters of rain has fallen in a day which exceeds the total amount of rainfall in june. more than 200 people have evacuated from their homes because of the rising water river level. lots of floods are occurring and the ground is already saturated. but unfortunately we're expecting more heavy rain to continue across western japan into friday due to a tropical storm coming in from the south. right now
southwestern end of japan bringing tropical storm winds and drempnching rain. we have reports of 160 millimeters of rain in three hours. drenching rain out there. waves could hit as high as 6 meters today. the brunt of it will be today in okinawa and it looks like it's going to move up towards the north and veer toward the east, skimming kyushu or moving through kyushu on friday. so the heaviest rain and strongest winds will batter kyushu and the west of western japan, and then move towards the east situated to the south of tokyo. so it looks like the heaviest rain is not -- the bulk of the heavy rain should stay over the water. so tokyo will miss the brunt of it. heavy rain across much of japan once again, but towards the south then, a tropical depression has been intensifying to a tropical storm situated west of the philippines so the northern parts of the philippines is also receiving lots of rain. more than 200 millimeter is likely not to trigger flooding as well as landslides.
across the whole of east asia, temperatures are going to be quite high across china. 39 degrees for chongqing, 32 in beijing. heat is in place for a while. and tokyo going up to 27 degrees. now in north america, the tropics are firing up here as well. we have a newly developed tropical storm right here. it's likely to head towards tea landfall on the southeast coast of mexico by thursday morning local time, as a tropical storm, and then quickly weaken to a low pressure system. rainfall will be as much as 250 millimeters of rain. life-threatening flood and mudslides are likely mainly in the mountainous areas, and over mainland u.s., we have a severe weather erupting across the northwest. tornadoes cannot be ruled out here. 70 millimeters of rain is likely across southwestern parts of canada and severe weather is also wrapping across the high plains into tonight. extremely hot. temperatures will be extremely high across the midsection of
the u.s. 32 degrees for new denver, as well as oklahoma city, but cooling down to the teens in vancouver as well as seattle on thursday. finally in europe then, the main story's going to be excessive heat across central europe. look at this 35 degrees in berlin. that's more than 10 degrees higher than seasonal 33 in vienna. but temperatures will go down from friday. here's the extended forecast.
[ music ] >> it's one of the most beautiful lakes in southern california. located high in the san bernardino mountains about 70 miles east of l.a. lake arrowhead with its beautiful lakeside homes and its crystal-blue waters is a paradise for those who enjoy swimming, boating, or fishing. and as we discovered, it's also a place with a fascinating history.